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Question #91138 posted on 04/08/2018 2:06 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I had a couple of answers for General Conference that did get answered, but I also had a couple that didn't. Hence, it is time to turn to my magic-100-ball.

How does the Spirit of Discernment work with regards to the times that people who have committed sexual assault being raised to leadership positions within the church? Bishops, MTC presidents, etc. What about missionaries?

If the church stresses so strongly about not working on Sundays, or keeping the Sabbath Day holy, why doesn't BYU do more to restrict mandatory work on Sundays (food/events/housing etc.)?

-Full Nelson


Dear Full Nelson,

God, unfortunately (or fortunately), does not guide us in everything. There are often times that God lets us take a few steps by ourselves, so that we can learn and grow. After all, that is the purpose of life—to grow to become like God. If God commanded us in everything, wouldn't that be Satan's plan? We need to not only learn to follow God, but to develop our own consciences and follow the higher law (to love God and our neighbors) and let that lead us when the Spirit won't. Because there will be times that the Spirit will back off and let us decide for ourselves.

Another explanation comes from my dad, who has also told me that the revelations we receive can change the more knowledge we are given. President Nelson spoke to this same idea this General Conference, when he said, "good inspiration is based upon good information" (source). It is entirely likely that Church leaders are unaware of the history of those they are considering for leadership for missionary service. (This is why I strongly support having background checks for Church leaders and teachers, especially those working with children.)

A final explanation is that these leaders simply don't listen. The Spirit speaks in a still, small voice, and these leaders may believe that nagging thought at the back of their head is just them being too suspicious. This can be a legitimate problem when Church leaders, who are primarily male, are more likely to believe and support other men instead of trusting women's words. This can have disastrous results. But as Elder Holland put it, "Except in the case of His only perfect Begotten Son, imperfect people are all God has ever had to work with. That must be terribly frustrating to Him, but He deals with it." Are there things the Church could improve to prevent this? Yes. Have they started to take action? Yes. While there is still more to do, I have hope that the Church will continue to change so that better information can be used to help leaders make the best decisions.

As to your second question, I believe some Sunday work is simply unavoidable. Firefighters, police officers, and doctors are required to work on Sundays (thank goodness). Thus, at least for me, it makes sense that some people (including those that prepare food for thousands of missionaries) have to work on Sunday. While I don't know much about the jobs worked on Sunday at BYU, I do know that BYU has tried to restrict Sunday work activity. For instance, breakfast at the MTC on Sundays is cold cereal and fruit. I'm really grateful we've shifted from the "list of appropriate Sunday activities" to "keep Christ at the center of your Sunday activities," because I feel like that's more closely aligned with Christ's teachings, who worked on the Sabbath by healing and serving others.

-guppy of doom